First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00. For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you. I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one.
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
I’m not Moses, but still, what the hell:
1. Thou shalt not read a book or attend a class or seminar on how to write a screenplay until you have written two, preferably three, screenplays.
2. The only exception to Commandment One is a book on formatting. Thou shalt read a book on that subject and pay very close attention to it.
3. Thou shalt see a movie outside your comfort zone at least once a week (preferably more). This means foreign films, classic films, historically important films, films made before you were born, etc.
4. Thou shalt have a vision for your screenplay, a reason for its existence, even if you are writing it for filthy lucre; and thou shalt understand that you create the vision for the screenplay, not the director or producer.
5. Thou shalt also realize that though you do create the vision of the movie and are the cornerstone of any film, thou shalt be treated worse than anybody else.
6. Thou shalt remember that stories should be character driven, not plot and concept driven, even when they are plot and concept driven.
7. Thou shalt not paint a picture of any scene, but give a reader just enough information that they may be able to paint the picture for themselves.
8. Thou shalt understand that action/chase/fights scenes are not the same thing as plot; formula is not the same thing as structure; and character description is not the same thing as character.
9. Thou shalt always seek out feedback and understand that what distinguishes a good writer from a bad writer is rewriting.
10. Thou shalt understand that there are no rules and that what rules there are shalt be broken; that when something becomes the thing to do, it is time to do something totally different; and that there are exceptions to everything.